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Posted on: December 8, 2020
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Does it seem like the presidential election was ages ago? It just might, especially as new state-mandated restrictions are in place in response to an increase in Covid-19-related hospitalizations. But political tensions remain, and are likely to take center stage again.
The American Psychological Association (APA) has valuable insights regarding the issue. In a recent article on APA’s website, Kirk Waldroff says, “With votes now tallied and, in some cases, electoral outcomes having been determined by extremely narrow margins and marked by legal challenges, there is no doubt that the political divide in the United States is a central trait of the country. And as this divide seems likely to remain and continue to grow, for many of us, it feels uncrossable. Yet psychological science suggests that it is both possible and imperative for us to find common ground.”
That’s good news, and it makes sense — especially for those not on the extremes of either side. Tania Israel, PhD, professor of counseling psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of Beyond Your Bubble, a book about connecting across the political divide, offers a compelling and hopeful insight: “Some of this divide is a matter of perception. Most people are not on the extremes of any of these issues, but most of what we hear is from people who are more on the extremes.”
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